CARACAS, Venezuela: A cargo of Venezuelan oil totaling 650,000 barrels, chartered by Italy's Eni, is about to become the first export of crude delivered to Europe in two years.
To settle billions of dollars of unpaid debt and dividends owed by Venezuela, in May the U.S. State Department authorized Eni and Spain's Repsol to resume their transporting of Venezuelan crude.
According to Reuters, a second tanker chartered by the large crude carrier Pantanassa, is currently traveling to Venezuela to load 2 million barrels of diluted crude oil (DCO) and transport them to Europe.
The document and various sources added that the cargo will be delivered by Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA later this month, and Eni has the option to sell a portion of the crude to Spain's Repsol for its Cartagena and Bilbao refineries.
Due to contract changes enforced by PDVSA to switch most spot sales to prepayment to reduce the risk of unpaid cargoes, Venezuela's May oil exports dropped to their lowest level in 19 months. The change has not affected customers under swap deals of debt payment agreements.
Since the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump suspended oil swaps used for exchanging Venezuelan oil for fuel and debt payments, European, Asian and American companies operating joint ventures with PDVSA in Venezuela, including Eni, Repsol, Chevron, ONGC Ltd., and Maurel & Prom, have accumulated billions of dollars in pending debt.